Node.js Advantages: Why It’s A Smart Choice for Software Development
But in truth, Node.js is not technically a programming language nor a framework, so what is it? We’ll dig in on this question below and outline the key advantages and disadvantages for startups and high-growth companies when it comes to using Node.js.
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What is Node.js ?
Indeed, in a recent Stack Overflow developer survey, over 45% of developers voted Node.js as the most common web technology.
But what is the essence of the V8 engine, and what is it?
So let’s now dive deep into the advantages and disadvantages of Node.js.
The reasons behind the popularity of Node.js
There are many important benefits of using Node.js, including :
Fast and easy scalability
Web services are typically I/O systems and require enhanced performance and scalability to execute commands smoothly and without lags. But the truth is building scalable applications is easier said than done, especially with regard to I/O execution. Node handles this easier, faster, and smoother because of its single-threaded, event-based architecture.
More specifically, the single-thread, non-blocking loop approach allows for load balancing, offering excellent scalability and enabling the backend servers to execute requests without delays. It can also handle multiple commands simultaneously, which enhances performance and operational scalability. In fact, recent studies show that Node.js can improve a system’s performance by up to 50%. Not bad!
Lastly, Node.js allows you to quickly add more nodes to the existing base for extended functions and effectively supports microservices architecture for future expansion.
So as a startup seeking to launch an efficient web application with room for future improvements, Node.js is a great option to consider.
Demands on companies are constantly changing (especially those in software), and if your startup is going to make it through the fire then operations and applications must be optimized for swift adaptation. Deploying Node.js makes it easy, fast, and inexpensive to implement changes and adapt to newer dynamics.
Most importantly, Node.js can be quickly modified, and when there are new adaptations, only the affected node is impacted. This is contrary to most other runtime environments that demand a complete reworking of the monolith for any little adjustment.
Node.js also supports the JSON format, which allows developers to deploy built-in APIs to communicate with other servers or clients.
Faster speed to market
One of the major advantages a startup can leverage is the ability to deliver quality web products quickly, especially when compared to lumbering industry giants. And building with Node.js brings you a few steps closer to achieving this advantage. Here’s how…
First, Node.js is generally lightweight and doesn’t require as many resources as other runtime environments; this makes it easy to expedite web app development activities and deliver on schedule.
Second, it is open source, so your team can leverage the continuous contributions and existing resources of other experts, which makes work easier and faster. You don’t have to build from scratch every time.
Easy to learn
According to the recent Stack overflow developer survey, Node.js is the most common web technology for over 52% of people learning to code. This means more than half of the learning community is using Node! Believe in the wisdom of crowds…
Finally, there are tons of –mostly free! – learning materials, videos, and resources all over the web that teach Node.js, meaning easy access to information.
Strong user community
The Node.js community is a very active group of like-minded individuals who continually lend their expertise, opinions, and thoughts to the continuous development and advancement of Node.js.
The community is a repertoire of useful open source codes that you can deploy if and when needed. So if your team is working with Node.js and they run into difficulty, chances are that there are already solutions waiting on sharing platforms like GitHub.
Full Stack Development
Speaking the same language is not only helpful for humans but also for computers; it makes communication and collaboration fluid and effective.
Node.js can cache data very efficiently because it uses its in-app memory to cache queries. As a result, the nodes may continue to operate effectively and are not slowed down by past data when requests are executed once and then repeated.
Disadvantages of using Node.js for software development
Though there are many great things about Node.js, nothing in life is perfect (except for perhaps donuts).
Here are some possible challenges you may encounter with deploying Node.js:
There have been numerous updates to the Node.js application user interface and not every modification is compatible with earlier versions. So to retain compatibility with the most recent release of the Node.js API, developers must implement alterations to the access code. This can be challenging and hinder efficiency.
Weak library support
Since Node.js is open source, various people make contributions, and not all of these contributions are high quality. There are often reports of low-quality registries and incomplete documentation, among other problems. Also, there is inadequate support for some of the complex operations of the runtime environment.
Poor performance with heavy CPU-bound tasks
For now, Node.js does not support multi-threaded coding; as a result, it may not be suitable for complex computing. When a CPU-driven command is initiated, Node.js uses all of its available CPU power to execute the task, thus impeding the overall performance and causing a delay in the event loop.
However, Node.js released an update in 2018 to address this issue. It was called the “worker threads” module and enabled programmers to run multiple threads concurrently. With this, heavy processes can be executed through various threads.
Unfortunately, this solution is still in its early stages and cannot guarantee efficiency with CPU-bound computations. Nevertheless, it is promising and could be a complete solution if fully developed.
With Node.js, there are many call-back operations (aka the processes that occur after every task has been executed). The callback challenge occurs when many executable tasks are in the loop with all their callback functions waiting. In this situation, several callbacks may be layered within other callbacks, leading to poor code and making It difficult to maintain the program.
High demand yet unmatched availability of experts.
No doubt, Node.js programmers are in high demand; in fact, it is the most widely used web tool in the United States, with over 6 million websites implementing its protocol. The high usage implies that more employers and companies need the services of Node.js experts. Unfortunately, there is a scarcity of these professionals to match the increasing demand.
Typical use cases for Node.js
Node.js is awesome for a reason: it has a wide range of use cases. Here are the most common ones:
Node.js has a default Stream API, thus making it a great platform for creating streaming apps. It features a very efficient interface with readable and writable streams that can be processed and analyzed. Besides the native stream API, Node.js is also lightweight and fast in execution which is needed for streaming. Not surprisingly, top streaming platforms like Netflix deploy this tool.
Real-time web applications
Node’s event-based and non-blocking architecture is ideal for real-time collaboration programs. These programs support a large number of concurrent events and requests. And these events or commands are able to execute immediately so that there is continuous flow among users. Node.js sends push notifications and makes instant updates to implement any change among users.
Social media and messaging apps
Social media platforms and messaging apps typically require real-time, continuous flow operability to enable live transmission between parties. Node’s robust event API makes it easy to achieve the needed efficiency and synchronized flow between users.
Remote presentation platforms
Remote presentation platforms often require a real-time collaborative interface to enable live video and text messaging communication. Also, other important features like file sharing, push notifications, etc., are necessary for smooth operation. Such applications work best when on a lightweight but adaptable codebase, which is what Node.js offers.
Multiplayer video games
Developing intuitive gaming programs with enhanced features like communication, collaboration, and live competition between remote players can be challenging with the wrong web tool. The swiftness and efficiency of Node make it ideal for executing such gaming operations and multiplayer interactions.
Why Node.js is ideal for your startup
Hopefully by now you’ve come to recognize the ease and power of Node.js. But let’s summarize some of the key reasons why Node.js likely makes a ton of sense for startups and high growth companies.
- Easier development process: With Node.JS, web development is robust and only requires a minimal amount of coding to deliver a finished product. According to industry experts, Node.js enables 33% fewer lines of code than comparable platforms. This makes the app or software much lighter and efficient, and with faster deployment cycles.
- Faster data streaming: Data streams act as a link between the data storage location and the processing location. With Node.js streams, data is read and continually written. Unlike conventional methods of reading or writing data, Node.js streams don't require the data to be read and stored in memory before processing. This greatly enhances efficiency and performance.
- Enables cross-platform operability: For startups seeking cross-platform operability with less code time and a limited budget, Node.js also serves as a cross-platform runtime environment. Node.js allows you to reuse parts of your existing code to embed in other operating systems. This eliminates the need to start creating codes for other systems from scratch, thereby reducing development costs and time.
- Provides multi-threading benefits: Although Node.js operates an event loop single-threaded infrastructure for I/O operations, it still can create multiple threads known as ‘worker threads.’ These worker threads are used to execute extensive CPU-based tasks.
- Asynchronous and event-driven: Event-driven programming orchestrates the occurrence of numerous events while also attempting to keep the platform as streamlined as possible. The asynchronous nature of Node.js also ensures that multiple requests are processed simultaneously and smoothly. This enhances delivery and performance.
How TurnKey can help you supercharge your software development process with Node.js
Implementing Node.js in your development process means that you’ll need to hire Node.js developers. And as a startup looking to find great talent and save costs, hiring offshore is usually your best bet.
But the question is, how do you go about it?
Without adequate knowledge or guidance, you could quickly become upside down. But it could even be worse offshore because you will have to deal with foreign laws, time zones, and maybe even another language.
But don’t let that scare you away from enjoying the numerous benefits of offshoring. All you need is a tried and trusted partner to handle the offshoring process – like TurnKey!
At TurnKey, we redesigned the offshoring concept to serve you better; we call It Yourshoring.
We created Yourshoring because offshoring too often becomes a team of developers who are more like contractors without real collaboration or integration.
But Yourshoring changes that narrative by imbuing an ownership culture and true collaboration in offshore teams. Here’s how:
- Most offshore firms make you hire their team, our Yourshore model finds a custom team just for you.
- Most offshore firms are in control of the development team, our Yourshore model ensures that you are always 100% in control of your team.
- Most offshore firms don’t integrate the development team into your culture, our Yourshore model ensures that the dev team is fully embedded in your culture.
- Most offshore firms make you play by their rules, our Yourshore model ensures that your development team plays by your rules only.
And at TurnKey, we not only provide you with an amazing dedicated development team but we also offer world class customer service. This means you will never be left in the dark on your journey to offshore success, whether it revolves around Node.js or any other technology.
The software development world is replete with an alphabet soup of options, ranging from tools, programming languages, frameworks, and more. Node.js is among the most popular development tools due to its extensive use cases and high return on investment.
So if you are a startup or high growth company aiming to scale more quickly while spending less, Node.js is your winning ticket.
The non-blocking I/O architecture is primarily what makes Node.js operate so fast. It uses a single asynchronous thread to process and execute all requests. As a result, there is reduced memory usage, less CPU work, and less traffic congestion.
Node.js and Python are both popular technologies for backend development. Python is more suited for back-end applications, heavy computations, and machine learning, while Node is better for web app development, website development, and cross-platform integration. In the end, your choice would be dependent on your specific development needs.